Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes
*As this voluminous entry indicates, it's been a noteworthy week on the Kansas City jazz scene. Here's video footage captured at Saturday's group photo of jazz and blues musicians. The event was covered by the Star.
*Jason Harper characterizes the situation Saturday in the Jazz District as "Bird Flu". He also attended Sunday's graveside function. (It's entirely possible that I was seeing ghosts. My head count is double his. I'm planning to offer my report Monday.)
*Steve Paul posted his photographs of the weekend's events.
*Ben Ratliffe of the New York Times reviewed last weekend's Charlie Parker Festival. (No, not Kansas City's version(s)- don't be silly!) A blogger provides excellent pictures of Frank Wess and Gary Bartz performing at New York's event. Another New York blogger seems more interested in writing about a camera phone than the festival, but he does offer nice crowd shots and an interesting image of one of Parker's former residences. He also suggests that "Kansas City has no claim on Charlie Parker."
*The traditionalists in Kansas City's jazz community aren't going to like this development one bit. The music streaming at Megan Birdsall's new site represents a complete stylistic change. She once evoked Blossom Dearie and Anita O'Day. She's refashioned herself as a progressive folk artist in the vein of Nickel Creek and Jolie Holland. She's even changed her moniker to MBird. (For the record, I love it- and I hope she tours with M. Ward.)
*Kansas City native Chris Connor has died. Here's Steve Paul's obituary. And here's the New York Times's version. The jazz singer was 81.
*"UMKC Libraries Receives McShann Collection" reads the Pitch's self-explanatory headline.
*Bobby Watson and Diverse were guests on KCUR's Up To Date. Download the show here. And it's strange but true- Kenny Loggins sat in with the band Friday at the Blue Room Here's a TwitPic from Loggins. UMKC's student newspaper featured Diverse. Incidentally, every act in Kansas City- jazz or otherwise- could pick up a few tricks at Diverse's excellent new site. It offers regularly updated news, a free download and videos. That's how it's done.
*Back To Rockville gets the scoop on Mark Lowrey's tribute to Radiohead.
*Plastic Sax favorite Steve Coleman provided a detailed analysis of Charlie Parker's music. (Found via Peter Hum's JazzBlog.)
*Even though we don't see things the same way, I'm really enjoying the work of new Kansas City jazz blogger KCJazzLark. He appreciates Diverse here and offers jazz clubs a bit of constructive criticism.
*Here's some additional unsolicited advice, this time from yours truly: The managements of the area's jazz clubs should add their establishments to Wikipedia's list of jazz clubs. They're not listed.
*Jardine's now blogs.
*Gerald Albright will perform at the forthcoming Gospel Jazz Family Fun Festival.
*Andrew Zender's departure from the American Jazz Museum is noted by Steve Penn.
*KCUR interviewed Krystle Warren, the jazz-folk-pop artist now living in Paris.
*Alice Thorson admires the “Jazzin’, Jammin’ & Jivin’: The History of Jazz on Film” exhibit at the American Jazz Museum. So do I. Unlike Thorson, however, I was disappointed by the scant annotations for the intriguing posters.
*A satirical touring band blogs about their visit to the American Jazz Museum.
*Amazon.com offered a free download of a rambunctious track from Eldar's next album last Saturday.
*Former Kansas Citian Terry Teachout was interviewed about his controversial "Can Jazz Be Saved?" editorial. Download it here. Excellent pianist Vijay Iyer is part of the discussion.
*NPR ran a feature about Lester Young. And here's Kevin Whitehead's take on Prez. Both segments are downloadable. (Tip via LK.)
*Harvey Pekar includes Count Basie, Lester Young and Charlie Parker on a top ten list of jazz innovators.
*An interesting, marginally jazz-relented event takes place September 11. Here are details from Ryan Nilson of Mixed Method: "Bringing together a multitude of styles the New Directions in Jazz, Experimental, and Improvised Music show held at The Foundation event space in the west bottoms is a chance to come out and catch some of KC more adventurous musicians."
*The new Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey release is out today. Get a taste with a free download of one track at their site. They'll be joined by Mark Southerland when they return to Jardine's on October 31.
*I've spruced up the Kansas City Jazz Calendar. While it's still ugly, it represents the most comprehensive listings for Kansas City's live jazz scene. I've also consciously excluded non-jazz acts. I really like Alacartoona, Dan Doran and the Barclay Martin Ensemble, for instance, but they specialize in cabaret, blues and folk-rock respectively. I'd estimate that a quarter of the acts booked at Kansas City's three primary jazz clubs don't play jazz.
(Original image captured at the intersection of 18th & Highland by Plastic Sax.)